Arts, Culture, & Ecology

Fall 2016, Winter 2017, and Spring 2017 quarters

Taught by

Marja Eloheimo
ethnobotany, environmental and cultural anthropology, plant studies
  • UG

While art is clearly influenced by culture, it can also be influenced by place. This program explores place-based arts such as basketweaving, plant arts, and nature journaling, and their eco-cultural foundations. Students gain a basic understanding in several areas including Pacific Northwest ecosystems and their dominant plant species; Coast Salish culture, history, and traditional arts; and dominant ecosystems associated with an element of one’s own cultural heritage. Students also develop the ability to critically analyze and communicate relationships between place-based arts and the places with which they are associated.  During fall quarter, students gain a foundation in cultural ecology, Northwest Coast ethnoecology, and nature journaling as well as begin to examine an aspect of their own heritage. During winter quarter, students focus more intently on Northwest Coast arts, including museum visits and traditional basketweaving workshops, as well as on heritage-based arts and identifying the dynamic relationships between art, culture, and environment. Students also strengthen their skills in nature journaling and creating representational plant arts. During spring quarter, construction of a new Indigenous Fiber Arts Studio begins. Through learning about this building as both a home for art and art itself, students learn to integrate art, culture, and ecology in a creative culminating project that advocates for eco-cultural sustainability. Throughout the year, learning activities include lectures, workshops, seminars, reading, writing, research, and field trips. Texts include Introduction to Cultural Ecology (Sutton and Anderson) and Ancient Pathways, Ancestral Knowledge (Nancy J. Turner), among others.  Students are welcome to join the program in winter or spring.  It will be helpful for new students to contact the faculty and plan to read some background materials.) 

Program Details

Fields of Study

botany ecology visual arts writing

Preparatory For

Arts, culture, Indigenous studies, education, ecology, ethnobiology  


Fall Signature Winter Open Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Weekends 9:30-5:30: Fall: Oct 1/2, 15/16, 29/30, Nov 12/13, Dec 3/4.  Winter: Jan 14 (first meeting 9:30am, Seminar 2 A1105), 21, 28, 29 (field trip) , Feb 4, 11, 18, 19 (field trip), 25(1:30-5:30), Mar 4, 11, 12 Spring: Apr 8/9, 22/23, May 6/7, 20/21, June 3/4

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online


$40 Fall & Spring, and $65 in Winter for Art Supplies and Museum Entrance Fees


2016-11-29Description, Schedule, and Student Fees for Winter updated